2012 WRD turns 10 years new! | White River Design
We let our creative juices flow and came up with ideas that not only fit in with our quarterly themes, but also helped grow the business.

WRD turns 10 years new!

WRD turns 10 years new! The interesting thing about moving into an office is that we now had opportunities to connect and engage with our clients a lot more than when we were based at home. We let our creative juices flow and came up with ideas that not only fit in with our quarterly themes, but also helped grow the business.

It’s party time

WRD turns 10 years

The reason why we turned 10 years new and not 10 years old, is because we changed our entire branding. We noticed that many of our clients would refer to us as WRD. So along with a simplified new logo we stripped back the colour palette to black and white and added pops of colour. Then we made our biggest move yet. We focused on being a branding studio and not just graphic design. This was a strategic move. We were starting to work with bigger businesses that knew and understood the value of branding. Our Brand Personalities system was gaining traction and our interstate and international clients started to grow.

We had a fabulous Black&White party where we played pass the parcel, ate cake, revealed our new brand and gave guests lolly bags on their way out.
View more party photos>>>

Business Person of the Year

Debbie O’Connor won the 2012 Business Person of the Year award. She was presented the award by one of our longest standing clients Gina Field from Nepean Regional Security who was a major sponsor and a previous recipient of this award.

2012 Business Person of the Year award DebbieO

Outstanding Professional Services


We were very excited to also be the 2012 winner of the Outstanding Professional Services award! We also became finalists in the Australian Small Business Awards and made our front cover newspaper debut. This was the last year we entered the local awards for WRD as sadly we were recipients of the infamous ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’.

Outstanding Professional Services WRD
Ita Buttrose DebbieO

It’s Ita!


Debbie attended the annual Western Sydney Business Centre luncheon where renowned journalist and business woman, Ita Buttrose was the guest speaker. What an incredible event and an honour to be invited. WRD was a Corporate One Level sponsor and is always proud to be associated with our local award winning WSBC.

From then to now

We’ve mentioned before on many occasions how networking has helped our business, and the Penrith Valley Chamber has been a big part of that. The Chamber is not just about gaining business. It’s about building up relationships and trust. It’s about education and advocacy. It’s about inspiring and being inspired. First we started off attending networking functions. Then we got involved in committees. Now Debbie is presenting for them.Debbie is currently the Vice President of the Chamber and next week, she will be presenting on branding at the full day business renew workshop being held at the Penrith RSL.

Quarterly themes + rewards

At the beginning of 2011 we implemented weekly targets that we, as a team, strove to achieve. The targets were tracked and assessed every 3 months. If they were achieved the team is duly rewarded. If anyone would like to chat about what we did and the success this generated, please reach out. Here are some of the themes and rewards we had.

WRD team rewards turns 10THEME: High CreativiTEA
As a design team, our focus was to generate more creative ideas for our clients. More creative advice, more creative ideas, more creative solutions. Our reward was an afternoon with artist Christina Frost-Clayton in the garden, where we received drawing lessons along with a sumptuous High Tea that was served in the gorgeous and inspiring Blue Mountains.
WRD team rewards turns 10THEME: Recipe for Success
The aim was for us have all of our systems and procedures as well as our WH&S all documented by the end of the quarter. Whenwe reached our goal so our team enjoyed a fabulous  reward lunch at the much acclaimed Aqua Dining overlooking Sydney Harbour!
WRD team rewards turns 10THEME: In The Cloud
Our goal was to move all of our accounting, file sharing and data backup into the cloud. Allowing us to further embrace new technology and work towards a paperless office. As we reached this target we all enjoyed a Hot Air Balloon ride over the Hawkesbury.Our Big Book of ideasIn 2012 we decided to implement the Big Book of ideas. Everytime we had an idea about the business they would write it down in the book and we would try and make it happen.At the end of the year we went through the book to check off just how many things we had achieved…WATCH THE VIDEO>>>

Designed to Lunch

Who doesn’t enjoy a lovely long lunch with enthralling conversation and interesting people? A few small intimate lunches to firstly thank our clients for supporting us, and for allowing us the honour of working on their brand. We are and will always be dedicated to building strong relationships and wanted other members of our design family to meet each other for additional networking opportunities. We had a lunch every quarter where we invited out regular clients who we knew were Designed to Lunch.

Designed to Lunch WRD
Songbirds WRD

Designs for Africa

While on a trip back to South Africa, Debbie had the privilege of presenting newly designed and printed business cards that WRD sponsored to a choir called SongBirds. The choir was made up of young South Africans from a township called Kabokeweni which neighbours Debbie’s home town of White River. The choir honoured her and her family with a private performance and a song about White River Design.

Clothing challenge

We had a really cold winter, so the WRD team brought in clothing which we donated to the Penrith PCYC (men’s, women’s and children’s). We challenged other clients to do the same and give generously to those families that don’t have much this winter.

Penrith PCYC Clothing Challenge WRD


Unsolicited advice #10

Australians love a battler. They are the best people to have in your corner when you are down and out and need help. Australians will give you the shirt off their backs. However, if you start to do really well they are quick to bring out the knives to cut you down to size. This can be hard to manage, but the reality is that this is more their issue than yours. Stand your ground, do your best, fulfil your dreams and take those who support and cheer you along, with you. One day you’ll be so tall you finally become the ‘hero’, the person or business to look up to. There are so many nay-sayers out there. So many people who are quick to judge or gaslight because they can’t do what you can. Stand your ground, achieve your dreams and be the tallest, brightest and most beautiful poppy you can be.


Welcome Kirsty + Steph

The move into premises literally catapulted the business and we had to hire staff. Stephanie Roberts was our friendly face at reception and helped with admin and Kirsty Pascoe joined our team as a junior graphic designer to assist Janine when Marnie went on maternity leave.

WRD Staff
WRD baby

Our 3rd WRD baby

In 2012 we congratulated Marnie and Dean on the arrival of their first child Jude, and the third WRD born baby.

All the WRD babies names start with a J! Joel, Jade and Jude!

We loved having visits from this little man to our design family!

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Feb 13th, 2023